What is Omni-channel marketing?
Omni-channel marketing is a new marketing trend that reveals a big shift in marketing trends, and the business marketing landscape itself. Basically, with Omni-channel marketing, marketers now need to provide a seamless brand or user experience regardless the channel, platform, or device they are using. Now, thanks to Omni-channel marketing, consumers can now engage with a company’s brand through a traditional brick & mortar store, an online website or mobile app, a catalog, or one of the many social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Consumers can now access and engage with a company’s brand, product, or service in any way from walking into their store to browsing on the web or through their mobile devices, meaning that each piece of a company’s Omni-channel marketing strategy has to work and blend seamlessly together, or be consistent and complementary to one another.
Omni-Channel marketing is important because it gives users a myriad of platform options to interact with your brand. In today’s day and age, the consumer landscape is bigger, broader, and more diverse than it ever was before, and this is largely thanks to the digitalization of nearly every aspect of our society, from technological devices to communication to retail and consumerism in general. Having your business available and accessible on multiple devices and through multiple channels makes it easier for consumers to discover and engage with your business. In other words, making your business go Omni-channel means being more successful in today’s Omni-channel society.
If you want to follow an Omni-channel marketing strategy for your business, but don’t know how or where to start, then here are just a few excellent examples of companies who did Omni-channel marketing right.
Everyone’s favorite American coffee chain became an Omni-channel marketing star when it came out with the Starbucks Rewards app. Even though it is a mobile app, Starbucks Rewards allows customers the option to check and reload their Starbucks card balance through their mobile device, the company website, or when they’re at the counter in a store location ordering their drink. Also, any balance or profile changes can be updated in real-time across all of these channels, always letting customers stay up-to-date regardless of where they are or what channel and device they are using. As for payments, customers can either pay with their physical Starbucks Rewards card or by using the mobile app on their phone. The balance will then be automatically updated both online and in the app. It’s no wonder why Starbucks is getting all the Omni-channel marketing “rewards”!
Everyone’s favorite customizable Mexican grill is also a rising star when it comes to Omni-channel marketing. Chipotle’s marketing team is now utilizing multiple channels, platforms, and devices to allow customers to place orders wherever they are on whatever device they use. Customers can now place orders online for pick-up at the nearest store location or placed to-go through a mobile app. Not only that, but orders can be tracked on any type of device, and account information can be viewed and updated either online or on the mobile app.
Like the Starbucks Rewards program, Sephora has its own multi-channel marketing program called “My Beauty Bag”, which makes it easier for customers to manage their favorite cosmetic products and purchase history from any device, whether a computer, tablet, or cell phone. Through this program, customers can view or track their recent purchases and the rewards they earned, add items to their shopping list, view their purchase history, and re-order their items in a way that’s better, faster, and easier than ever before. Sephora’s Omni-channel marketing program can also be used to add to an in-store shopping experience, which only makes it even more “Omni-channel”.
Oasis is a fashion retailer based in the UK that has an e-commerce website, a mobile app, plus several brick-and-mortar store locations that, combined, enhance the shopping experience for Oasis’ customers. Oasis provides several in-store and online options that work together to create a more convenient, efficient, and enjoyable shopping experience. For example, in-store associates are provided with iPads to give customers on-the-spot information about the locations of any products in the stores, the options they come in (such as sizes or colors), and if products are currently in or out of stock.
- Crate & Barrel
Crate & Barrel designed an app that allows customers, when they’re signed in, to save their shopping cart so that they can pick up where they left off no matter where they are in the purchasing process, and access their purchasing information from across multiple channels and devices.
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